LIMA – Peruvian air force Sgt. Victor Ariza was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison by a military court that found him guilty of selling classified information to Chile, the press reported.
The court found Ariza guilty of the crime of treason against the nation in peacetime, and it also imposed a fine upon him, payable to the state, of 700,000 soles ($247,734).
RPP radio said that the sentence was handed down in a courtroom at Punta Lobos airbase, south of Lima, where the closed-door trial had been held and the site where Ariza must serve his prison term.
The ruling was appealed by the defense and by the prosecution, which had requested a sentence of 35 years behind bars and a civil fine of 1 million soles ($353,907).
The court acquitted several other air force personnel who had been implicated in the case.
Ariza was arrested on Oct. 30, 2009, in Lima, and he was accused of having passed to Chile secrets about the Peruvian air force’s needs and projections with regard to personnel, aircraft and administrative aspects.
When the case came to light, Peruvian authorities asked Chile to mount an investigation into the matter, since two members of the Chilean air force were allegedly involved, but prosecutors in Santiago decided in March not to open any judicial investigation.
The Chilean government has steadfastly maintained that it does not spy on Peru and denied paying Ariza or anyone else for Peruvian classified documents. EFE